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 Post subject: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:27 am
Posts: 9
Howdy.
John from Spring, Texas
I purchased a TI a few months ago and have used it 4 times with not very good results. I love the concept but the problems are so numerous that I am losing confidence in this boat.

1st time - Rudder & Mirage Drive- the first time I took it out was on Lake Livingston, Texas. Needless to say the outing didn’t last more than about one hour because I could not get it to steer correctly due to the inherent design defects of the rudder. I wanted to take my daughters out on it but I just couldn’t get it to work right. I ultimately thought it was something I was doing wrong and I set about researching the tandem island and low and behold I found this forum! I quickly realized from the forum members that there were inherent problems with the steering. I also had trouble getting the front drive to seat properly. It was a real struggle and took at least 15 to 20 tries to finally get it to seat securely in the drive well.

2nd time - Rudder & Mirage Drive- I took the kayak out a second time (prior to the temporary rudder fix) on Lake Livingston again. I had my family with me this second time also, but I would not take them out in the TI until I was certain that it would operate correctly and safely. I was determined to get the rudder to seat properly but alas, it just would not steer correctly. After about one hour I decided to just take it back to the dealer for a fix. Before I pulled the boat out of the water, we took a break on land for a couple of pints. When we came back, the boat was basically sunk. The entire main hull was full of water. Apparently in the struggle to get the front drive to seat in the front drive well, the drive punctured the hull. Fortunately, the TI was only sitting in about 3-1/2 feet of water. I sent the TI off to a local kayak dealer and had the puncture repaired. In the mean time, I heard about the TI rudder temporary fix coming out, so I decided to have Southwest Paddle Sports in Houston, Texas build a trailer for the TI while I waited on the fix.

This is where the drive well punctured:

Image

3rd Time - I received and installed the temporary rudder fix. IT WORKS! The weather warmed up enough to take the TI out so I headed to the Texas City Dike late on February 13th. The weather was good, wind was good, and I took it out and had a great short sail (45 minutes); however, I had a lot of difficulty getting the front drive to seat securely in the drive well. It took me about 10 minutes to get it to seat properly. I really think there is a problem with the front drive well. I have not had any problem getting the drive to seat in the rear drive well the few times that I have tried. When I pulled the TI out of the water, it had approximately 2 to 3 gallons of water in the main hull. That is after about a 45 minute sail in fairly calm waters. That seemed excessive. I unfortunately had run out of light due to the late take-off and did not have time to try and trace where the water was coming from.

4th time - I decided to take the TI out again the next weekend on February 20th. My daughter had been dying for me to take her “sailing” so I bought her the necessary clothing (not cheap) and we headed back to Texas City. The day looked pretty good, Air Temperature 75 degrees, wind 15 knots, water calm, water (a little cool) at about 62 degrees... what more could a TI owner ask for. Well, it was not to be. When we got there, I unloaded the TI from the trailer and after setting the TI up, I noticed the rigging lines were slack. After a couple of minutes, I realized that a pin was missing out of a shackle holding the Harken Block. I had no way of reliably pinning the block in place, so I reluctantly trailered the TI. I was really mad!!!! and I was fed up with Hobie, :evil: but I have to say that through it all, my daughter never stopped smiling. When I had to tell her that she would not be able to ride on the Hobie TI for the 3rd time, she just smiled at me and said “that’s OK Dad, I really appreciate you trying”. That’s priceless. I will say this for the record. If I try to take my daughter out a 4th time, and there is a Hobie failure, Hobie is going to have a very, very, very, very unhappy TI owner to deal with. It’s not right that I have spent several thousand dollars on a boat and have not been able to take my family out on it. I’ve even bought every spare part that I thought I could possibly need. I’ve bought spare everything! Drives, fins, you name it, everything I could reasonably conceive that could fail......but I apparently should have known that the shackle holding the Harken block will fall out in transit and I should have had a replacement on hand for it also. But by the grace of God, the block did not drag on the highway as I was traveling to Texas City or I.....no... Hobie would be replacing it. The harken block should not be loose after less than two hours of use from the time this TI was new. Should there be Loctite on the shackle pin? Oh, I forgot to mention, the seats on the TI do not work well. I (and others) cannot get the seat pegs to hold in the kayak bottom which results in the seat bottom sliding forward; however, I have only used them less than two hours and maybe I'll figure it out. I've also ripped and destroyed a drive fin within the first 15 minutes of owning it. Wow!!!!

Shackle Fail
Image

No Sailing Today
Image

Smiling Daughter]Image

Here are the things that I have learned:

1. If you are going to invest in a TI, also invest in dressing for immersion. You may very well end up in the water.
2. Don’t ever go out on anything other than a small body of water without an Epirb or a SPOT locator. Make sure it is attached to your body and not the boat.
3. There are 2 reliable ways to use a TI:
A. Get a 2nd TI to tow behind the 1st so that you can use it as a “parts” boat.
B. Make sure a rescue boat is following the TI.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1860
Location: South Florida
Hi John,

Sorry to hear of your problems. Your daughter is a real sport--you can be proud of her.

You may be aware of a current parallel thread--Hobie AI/TI problems--mainly rudder-related: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=34077 You are not in this by yourself, but you have had more than your share of new boat problems.

Hobie sells replacement seat pegs which have a screw tightener--they work.

I hope you get things straightened out soon before you get so frustrated that you have a large "Hobie beach fire."

Keith

_________________
I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Sounds like you just have had a lot of little problems to mess with your first sails. Hang in there! Work with your dealer to get each fixed and it will be worth it in the end. Maybe your was a lemon. :shock:

Hobie normally doesn't recommend plastic welding for below the waterline leaks. Was that a temporary quick fix by your dealer?

If you ever make it out to Maui, let me know and you (and your daughter) can sail with me.

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


Last edited by KayakingBob on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8965
Location: Oceanside, California
Frustrating for sure... we hate hearing about users struggling with our products.

Rudder issues? That should have been resolved before the sale of a boat purchased "just a few months ago". Dealers received retrofit parts for boats purchased last year... starting last Fall. Just to be clear, it's not entirely a design defect, but more of a production inconsistency that caused issues with rudder lock down. Many rudders operated properly without need of the kit, but all boats received the updates long ago and will receive a whole new system this spring. In all cases, you have to cleat the rudder in the down position. Rudders that come up while sailing are generally sailing at higher speeds. Pedaling or sailing at slower speeds were not conditions that caused any rudder to pop up that I am aware of.

The other problems should be easily corrected or avoided.

First, a shackle that is not tightened is not a product defect. That is an assembly and or maintenance problem.

Seat pegs - As noted by "Chekika" here, the adjustable seat pegs (included on your boat) do work when adjusted properly. Perhaps better instruction by your dealer or some practice would help.

Drive fit - Little can go wrong in boat or drive in production to make a drive not fit, but proper technique is required and shown here: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=12836

Mis-installation of a drive and pedaling while incorrectly installed has been noted as a cause of the aft fin tearing loose... if just the tip is damaged? Hitting the bottom?... it's the same issue a power boat prop has... deep enough water to operate without striking the bottom is required.

In any case, the dealer should contact us with any concerns about unresolved problems.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:27 am
Posts: 9
Keith,

Thanks for the heads up on the replacement seat pegs, I didn't know those were available.

It is probably obvious that I was at a low point when I wrote my previous post and was in a "venting" mood.

I am totally committed to ironing out all of these issues and I promise to post video of a "good" sail when I do.

I do have a couple of questions if anyone has some information:

Does anyone know if there is supposed to be loctite on things like the shackle pin holding the harken block or is that a bad idea? Will it hold OK long term on it's own if it is tight when installed.

I also didn't know that you weren't supposed to plastic weld leaks below the waterline? What is the preferred method?

I just want to end by saying thanks to Keith and Matt and Reconlon and everyone else who might respond with advice and/or encouragement. Y'all are a great group of guys. I hope to meet some of you face to face someday. If anyone is sailing in the Texas City/Galveston area, let me know, I would like to hook up and maybe learn something. I'm new to this.

Thanks,

John


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8965
Location: Oceanside, California
Shackles tightened with pliers do not need loc-tite, but can't hurt right?

The adjustable pegs mentioned are standard equipment, so your pegs should look like this:

Image

In warranty situations, we do not suggest below waterline repairs. We opt to replace the hull due to concerns about repairs being done correctly or failing which places liability on dealers and us as well.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:30 am
Posts: 54
Location: Newark DE & Miramar FL
Quote:
Does anyone know if there is supposed to be loctite on things like the shackle pin holding the harken block or is that a bad idea? Will it hold OK long term on it's own if it is tight when installed.


Hi, John. I'm new to this forum [will be taking delivery of our new TI in two days], but I do have a lot of experience with Harken fittings on our MacGregor 26M sailboat, and every Harken fiddle block shackle pin that I've seen has a hole in the end - through which one runs a piece of safety wire to ensure that it won't unscrew. This is especially important for a boat that is being trailered.

Best wishes,
Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:49 am
Posts: 403
Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Hi, John. Hang in there and you'll get the kinks worked out. Being early adopters of the TI, we also had some mental adjusting to do with regard to the rudder issues and various other challenges.

But we prevailed in the end and had a spectacular season last year - just check our videos to see what fun we had even on the down days!

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Mitch
    2010 Tandem Island
    2010 Revolution
    Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore
My sailing blog
Our sailing videos


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:07 am
Posts: 598
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Squall wrote:
It is probably obvious that I was at a low point when I wrote my previous post and was in a "venting" mood.

I am totally committed to ironing out all of these issues and I promise to post video of a "good" sail when I do.


It's easy to get frustrated when things don't go well with a new boat. Glad to see you're in a more positive mood now. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2680
Location: Kailua 96734
On the brite side, your adorable daughter is learning a very valuable life lesson here (let your friends buy the boats, especially sailboats!)

Probably picked up a few new swear words too. :mrgreen:

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"THE WIND IS YOUR FRIEND,.."


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:06 am
Posts: 360
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
For what it's worth, I read this thread this morning. We took this afternoon off and went sailing. After reading about the shackle, I was remembering how many thousands of shackles I have secured in my life. 40 years of putting hardware in the ocean. Safety wire the screw pins, cotter pin the shackles with hex nuts.

So before we took off today, I checked the little stainless Harken shackle that holds the TI mainsheet, right there aft of the rear hatch.

And it was maybe four turns from falling out. Completely loose. And we have a four mile trip over horrible dirt road before we get to a paved road.

I tightened it snug and safety wired it with some stainless wire.

I would suggest you other TI sailors check that shackle and wire it. Heck, a small cable tie would do it.

You could still rig up a sheet to get home with if you lost that shackle. Just use the little blue line that holds your sail rolled up and tie the Harken block. And sail easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:44 am
Posts: 159
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
My TI's mainsheet shackle pin was loose too. Got it secured now with a wire tie. Thank you John for bringing this to our attention.

Many screws on the TI will become loose after a year of trailering and sailing. I have begun to add Loctite to keep them tight.

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Marc K
2010 Hobie Tandem Island
Boynton Beach, FL


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:07 am
Posts: 598
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Wiring the shackle with Monel should be part of dealer prep on the Tandem Island, it seems.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2680
Location: Kailua 96734
Could you guys clarify, a "wire tie" is made of metal or plastic, as in a plastic "cable tie"?

I cant imagine how a plastic tie would hold a block in place while under sail, should the shackle fail.

How do you attach it? A picture would help.

And is there any reinforcement under the padeye which holds the shackle to the TI hull?

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"THE WIND IS YOUR FRIEND,.."


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Confidence
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:30 am
Posts: 54
Location: Newark DE & Miramar FL
Wire, wire tie, cable tie, whatever -- it's job is simply to keep the shackle pin from rotating (unscrewing) and falling out.


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